Sheffield leads the way in cervical cancer diagnosis

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust first in UK to use Zedscan - a pioneering new system that improves the detection of pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix

Zedscan is being used in Sheffield to detect cervical cancer

Patients at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are to benefit from the introduction of a pioneering new system that improves the detection of pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has become the first trust in the country to introduce the Zedscan device from Zilico, which can measure and detect tissue changes in women identified with an abnormal smear test.

The system offers real-time and more-accurate detection of pre-cancerous cells than standard colposcopy, enabling clinicians to make better-informed decisions at a patient’s first hospital visit. It means appropriate treatment can be started quickly, or reassurance swiftly offered to patients if the diagnosis does not show anything of concern. It also reduces unnecessary biopsies.

We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of healthcare innovation and this news reinforces our status as pioneers in new medical technology

The technology behind the system was jointly developed at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals following a long-standing collaboration between Professor Brian Brown, a medical physicist; and Professor John Tidy, a consultant gynaecological oncologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Professor Tidy said: “The new system enables clinicians to make a faster diagnosis, which in turn enables patients to begin treatment or be offered reassurance if the test comes back clear.”

In an evaluation of 400 women referred to the colposcopy clinic at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, ZedScan was found to improve the detection of disease.

Dr Julia Palmer, the lead colposcopist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “I was aware of the system, especially as it was developed here in Sheffield, and was keen to assess it in a real clinic situation.

“Two consultant gynaecologists, plus three nurse colposcopists who performed most of the examinations, evaluated the device for nine months. After seeing the benefits we decided to introduce it.”

The ZedScan system has the potential to further improve diagnosis and care for patients within the cervical cancer pathway– and I’m delighted it has been developed and adopted here in Sheffield first

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of healthcare innovation and this news reinforces our status as pioneers in new medical technology – particularly as this was a system developed together at the University of Sheffield and our Trust.

“The ZedScan system has the potential to further improve diagnosis and care for patients within the cervical cancer pathway– and I’m delighted it has been developed and adopted here in Sheffield first.”

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